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Apprenticeships in the spotlight at inaugural awards ceremony

The valuable contribution of apprentices to the workplace was recognised at an inaugural awards ceremony.

Businesses, training providers and apprentices from across the county attended the first Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards at Legoland on Thursday, November 22.

Winners included Vikas Khan, who scooped the Best Young Ambassador Apprentice Award in recognition of his work as a finance recruiter at Slough-based Arvato.

Andrew Gadd, who also works for the Farnham Road-based service provider, won the Star Apprentice Manager prize.

Fiona Jones, chief executive of Slough Aspire, who helped organise the awards, said: “This is a great opportunity to put apprenticeships centre stage.

“All our nominees are testament to the difference apprenticeships can make, with these organisations all reaping the many rewards from securing skilled employees for the future, impacting their bottom line to breathing fresh life into their business and imp- roving staff loyalty and training.”

Further winners on the night included the West Berkshire Training Consortium, which picked up the Best Training Provider prize.

Reading’s Maiden Erlegh School also won recognition in the category of Most Innovative Education-Based Apprenticeship Promotion Initiative.

Fiona added that despite the obvious advantages of apprenticeships, Berkshire still trailed behind the national average with only six per cent of workplaces having an apprentice compared to 12 per cent nationally.

“We need to shine a light on apprenticeships to encourage more organisations o step forward and embrace the apprenticeship advantage,” she said.

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